κατὰ πάντα . . . πάντως—paronomasia, to emphasise the statement.

πανωλεθρίᾳ—cf. πανώλεθρος ἀπόλλυσθαι in tragedy.

ὀλίγοι ἀπὸ πολλῶν—a common collocation.

ἀπενόστησαν—the well-known story in Plut. Nic. 29 that some gained liberty or shelter by reciting Euripides is by no means improbable; for, apart from the great popularity of Euripides, the Athenian slaves, weakened by suffering and unused to mauual labour, must have been a burden to their owners. With the Athenian retreat we might compare the retreat of Antony from Parthia in 36 B.C. Cf. Browning Balaustion's Adventure, and Byron Childe Harold 4.16:

When Athens' armies fell at Syracuse,
And fetter'd thousands bore the yoke of war,
Redemption rose up in the Attic Muse,
Her voice their only ransom from afar:
See! as they chant the tragic hymn, the car
Of the o'ermaster'd victor stops, the reins
Fall from his hands, his idle scimitar
Starts from its belt—he rends his captive's chains,
And bids him thank the bard for freedom and his strains.

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